Baseball’s first annual Combine took place June 20-26. MLB and USA Baseball teamed up for the event, which was held in the USA Baseball National complex in Cary, North Carolina. The Combine featured some of top players in the country hoping to improve their draft stock including Henry David (#5) Jud Fabian (#22) and Ryan Cusick (#24). It didn’t include most of the players expected to go in the first two rounds of the draft, but many prospects ranked 50-250 joined the event. As expected, metrics were central and included batting practice with TrackMan, pitching with Rapsodo, pop-times for catchers and time from 2nd to home for a few players. A couple of showcase type games were also played to highlight the skills live.
The Commissioner was on hand as well as several former pros such as Fred McGriff, Billy Butler and Rajai Davis.
The Combine took place during the 11U Futures Tournament, so younger players had a chance to interact with future pros. The crowd was small since the event wasn’t open to the public and it offered plenty of opportunities to interact with the players and chase down stray balls down the lines and in the outfield.